The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens enter the 2019 HSBC USA Sevens tied for first place with New Zealand and have started the Series with four consecutive silver medals. The Eagles Sevens team will defend their home title at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Mar 1-3.
USA Sevens and Las Vegas
The USA Sevens celebrates a decade of rugby in Las Vegas with attendance records being set the last few years. The USA Sevens is being played alongside the Las Vegas Invitational, which has 16 brackets from international to youth. The latter tournament and the hard work of United World Sports have facilitated in making the USA Sevens the premier rugby event in North America.
With the demolition of Sam Boyd Stadium in 2020, World Rugby may open bidding to cities within the U.S. for this event. The logistics of producing a successful event boggle the mind, as climate, venue availability, cost and amenities, hotels, transportation, as well as the significance of running an ancillary tournament like LVI for the development of Elite though youth rugby. The venue options are limited, yet I don’t believe that World Rugby would like to eliminate the U.S. market.
USA Rugby on the Rise
The U.S. Rugby market has been in the news the last week with World Rugby indicating that a bid from the U.S. for the Rugby World Cup in 2027 or in 2031 would be encouraged. Yesterday, the U.S. is expected to be included in the Rugby Championship as part of a World Rugby Series. This has been controversial with the exclusion of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Canada, Georgia … Promotion and relegation and player welfare issues still remain at the forefront of the concern about implementing a Global Calendar.
A Global Calendar affects the growth and sustainability of rugby from planning, marketing, and player welfare perspective. It affects professional leagues and the cooperation necessary to facilitate player access.
USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Team
The USA Men’s Eagles are in Pool B along with 13th ranked Kenya, 9th ranked Argentina, and 12th ranked France.
The USA has had five players included in the Dream Team the last two Series stops in Wellington and in Sydney. Stephen Tomasin and Madison Hughes made the HSBC Sydney Sevens Dream Team and Ben Pinkelman, Danny Barrett, and Folau Niua were selected at the Wellington Sevens. Hughes currently sits at No. 2 in most points scored this season and is also the highest point scorer in Eagles Sevens history.
With Perry Baker injury, the team has stepped up during his absence. Carlin Isles and Kevon Williams have been try scorers. Baker is expected back for the final two stops in London and in Paris.
Folau Niua surpassed Zach Test for most tournament appearances and is a team leader. Martin Iosefo stepping and offloads have also proved to be invaluable.
The team has matured and has created a brotherhood of mutual respect as they progress to qualifying for the Olympics in 2020. The team has important goal of finishing the Series in the top 4, but would not concede contending winning each Series stop. Team members and their families have made many financial sacrifices in representing their country. It is hoped that sponsors will jump on the Eagles Sevens bandwagon and help to support the team financially and make their quest for inclusion in the Olympics easier.
Head Coach Mike Friday has included Marcus Tupuola in the squad for Las Vegas. He has been the 13th man the last two tournaments and will earn his first Eagles Sevens Cap tomorrow. The 13th man for this Series in Ben Broselle and he could also debut for the team as an injury replacement.
Head Coach Mike Friday
On defending the USA Sevens title after winning four straight silver medals…
“We are approaching this with the same mindset that we’ve had all season. We need to be humble and hungry to succeed as we are not even at the halfway stage of our mission to gain automatic Olympic qualification by finishing in the Top 4. We are always excited and honored to play in front of our home support of family and friends as they always play such an important part in this tournament. We will need to work hard every second of every game and feed off the passionate support of the USA rugby community in what will be another very tough physical group that will force us to be at our best.”
USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad
USA: 1 Carlin Isles 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Matai Leuta 5 Brett Thompson 6 Kevon Williams 7 Folau Niua 8 Maceo Brown 9 Stephen Tomasin 10 Madison Hughes (C) 11 Marcus Tupuola 12 Martin Iosefo 13 Ben Broselle
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
- Head Coach Mike Friday
- Assistant Coach Anthony Roques
- Assistant Coach Phil Greening
- Strength & Conditioning Coach Jon Hood
- Athletic Trainer Brian Green
- Team Manager Scott Novack
Other Pool B Squads
The HSBC USA Sevens has not released the 1-13 team squads, but extended player squads have been identified by Kenya, Argentina, and France. Player numbers have not been published yet. (* New Cap)
Kenya: 1 Jacob Ajee 2 Vincent Onyala 3 Daniel Taabu 4 Johnston Olindi 5 Brian Wahinya 6 Bush Mwale 7 Brian Wandera 8 Cyprian Kuto 9 Edmund Anya* 10 Herman Humwa 11 Charles Owino 12 Michael Agevi
Argentina: 1 Renzo Barbier 2 Luciano Gonzalez 3 Rodrigo Etchart 4 Lautaro Bazan Velez 5 Maximo Provenzano 6 Santiago Alvarez 7 Joaquin de la Vega 8 Francisco Ulloa 9 German Schultz 10 Santiago Mare 11 Franco Florio 12 Fernando Luna 13 Franco Sabato
France: 1 Samuel Alerte 2 Jean-Pascal Barraque 3 Paul Bonnefond 4 Sadek Deghmache 5 Teiva Jacquelain 6 Pierre-Gilles LaKafla 7 Jonathan Laugel 8 Thibault Mazzoleni 9 Pierre Mignot 10 Marvin O’Connor 11 Stephen Parez-Edo 12 Paulin Riva 13 Remi Siega 14 Antoine Zeghdar
HSBC USA Sevens Schedule
Pool B Broadcast LIVE on various ESPN Networks All times Eastern
- vs Kenya Fri, Mar 1 – 7:50 PM
- vs Argentina Fri, Mar 1 – 10:51 PM
- vs France Sat, Mar 2 – 4:26 PM
- Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Mar 2 at 7:30 PM